Enel CEO awaits word on sale of Russian unit to Lukoil By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk outside the ENEL energy company store in Niteroi near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 14, 2022. REUTERS/Ian Cheibub/File Photo

CERNOBBIO, Italy (Reuters) – Italian utility Enel (BIT:) has no indication on when it can close the sale of its Russian unit, CEO Francesco Starace said on Saturday, adding prospective buyer Lukoil had sought the necessary authorisation.

“Lukoil has put in the necessary request … and we’re awaiting a response,” Starace said during a press briefing at a business conference in northern Italy.

Enel announced in June it had reached a deal with Russia’s Lukoil and investment fund Gazprombank-Frezia to sell its 56.43% stake in Enel Russia for around 137 million euros, which will be paid at closing.

Russia put Enel’s local subsidiary on a preliminary list of companies that investors from so-called unfriendly countries are banned from selling this year, unless they get special presidential permission.

Moscow later introduced a further requirement, demanding that the prospective buyer also seeks authorisation to acquire the asset.

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By Reuters